A federal judge has made a controversial decision for a controversial policy, ruling that the New York City Police Department’s "stop and frisk" tactics violate the constitutional rights of minorities.
In her scathing opinion, the judge said the policy is a form of racial profiling, and has called for an independent monitor to oversee reforms to the police department's stop and frisk program.
CNN Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Sunny Hostin explains the judge’s decision and says the stop and frisk policy in itself is not wrong, but needs to be applied in a particular way. (WATCH TOP VIDEO)
“If you’re gonna stop someone, you have to have what’s called a reasonable suspicion to stop them,” Hostin explains. “Is there furtive movement? Is there a crime afoot and this person meets that description?”
Hostin says the judge based her opinion on statistics that prove the overwhelming majority of stop and frisks are made on minority people, and an overwhelming number of stops do not result in arrests.
Of “4.4 million stops over a span of years, 88% of those stops didn't lead to any arrests, didn't lead to anything,” she says.
Stop and frisk cases “can be very effective, but you can’t trounce on someone's constitutional rights,” Hostin says. “You can't stop someone merely because they’re Black or Latino. And that seems to be what the practice was.”
But Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defend the program, and have already announced plans to appeal.
Agreeing with the policy, CNN “Crossfire” host and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says, “last year was the least violent year in modern New York history,” and thousands of lives have been saved as a result of it. (WATCH VIDEO)
Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill refuses to concede that stop and frisk tactics have prevented those deaths.
“Deaths have gone down, but they've also gone down in Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, by much larger margins,” Hill says, “and they don't have these types of oppressive stop and frisk policies.”
Gingrich and Hill dig deeper into the fairness of the policy below. (WATCH VIDEO)